Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis pretty much ruled himself out for Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers during a radio interview Tuesday. Asked by 106.7 The Fan whether he'd be ready for the game, Portis said, "I don't think so. I don't think the team would even let me attempt to go and try to play on Sunday."
The other part of this story is that Portis may have been on the way to losing his starting job anyway. Former Broncos fifth-round pick Ryan Torain turned heads with 70 yards and a signature touchdown in the first quarter against Philadelphia last Sunday. Torain's Redskins teammates are still talking about him steamrolling Eagles safety Quintin Mikell on his way to the end zone. For an offense searching for an identity, Torain seems like a pretty good solution.
"You saw how hard that man ran?" cornerback Carlos Rogers told reporters. "He went out there and was physical. They kept calling his number and he kept bringing it."
In his generically titled column "On Football," the Washington Post's Jason Reid did a nice job of breaking down Portis' future with the Redskins. It's likely that the 29-year-old won't return in 2011.
"For this season, Portis has a base salary of almost $7.2 million, of which $6.4 million was guaranteed regardless of whether he made the 53-man roster (the remainder became guaranteed when Portis was with the team on opening day)," writes Reid. "In addition, the Redskins on Aug. 31 paid Portis a $500,000 bonus.
"He is off the books after the season, which would free the Redskins to pursue a younger back in the upcoming free agent class, expected to be the best ever. Torain could continue to impress and remain in the team's plans, and Washington also could select a back high in the draft."
Given Shanahan's success with unheralded backs such as Torain, it's hard to imagine him selecting one high in the draft. Torain might play the role of Olandis Gary. And the Redskins can try to complement him with a Mike Anderson-type.